Red Aval Uppumavu
Red Aval Uppumavu
About this Recipe
A staple grain in South India, rice is consumed in many forms: grains steamed to perfection, but also ground and fermented to make fluffy crepes and cakes or beaten into rice flakes called aval or poha. Flattened rice is quick to cook and can be used for sweet and savory preparations. Red Aval Uppumavu is a flavorful, savory rendition, ideal for either breakfast or an evening pick-me-up snack.
Red aval is a popular part of pre- and post-natal diets in South India and — like other naturally red ingredients — contains potent anti-inflammatory anthocyanins, which may also have antidiabetic, antimicrobial, and even anticancer properties, as well as benefits for cardiovascular health. Red rice is rich in fiber and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, calcium and selenium (the last two are essential for strong bones). Peanuts, which add an excellent crunch factor to the dish for satiety, are rich in protein and good fats, which may help stabilize blood sugar spikes. A dash of herbs and spices brings added benefits for overall gut health and immunity.
Note: There are two kinds of flattened rice or rice flakes: thin or thick. For this recipe, use the thicker, coarse variety.
- 2 cups (300 g) red aval (thick flattened red rice flakes)
- 3 Tbsp (45 g) peanuts, without skin
- 1½ Tbsp (25 ml) cooking oil
- ¼ Tbsp (4 g) brown mustard seeds
- 1 dried red chile
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1 (45 g) small onion, chopped
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 green chile, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 1 (40 g) small tomato, deseeded and chopped
- Salt for seasoning
- 3 Tbsp (45 g) freshly grated coconut or 1½ Tbsp desiccated coconut
- 1 Tbsp (15 g) chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Step 1Put the poha in a strainer and run cold water over it, wetting it thoroughly. Cover and set aside.
Step 2Heat a small, heavy-bottomed pan or a skillet, and toast the peanuts on medium-low heat for 4 to 5 minutes to a nice golden color. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Step 3Wipe the pan clean using a kitchen towel, and add oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to pop and splutter, break the red chile in half and add it, along with the curry leaves. Sizzle the spices for 30 seconds until aromatic.
Step 4Stir in the onion and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes, or until translucent.
Step 5Add the ginger and green chile and sauté for a minute, until the raw ginger smell gives way to a mellower aroma. This is your cue to add tomatoes, turmeric and the peanuts toasted earlier. Mix well, season with salt and stir-fry for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Step 6Add the poha and gently toss the mixture in the pan to combine. Cover and let simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Serve warm, garnished with freshly grated coconut, chopped coriander leaves, and a wedge of lime.
Substitutions: Use rice flakes in place of red aval. If you have a peanut allergy, swap peanuts with roasted channa dal, or any nuts or seeds of preference for some crunch.
Level up: Drizzle some chile oil on top for a spicy kick.